Property Zoning Exceptions

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by SoonerAviator, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Bit of long story, but just thought I'd share it with the gallery:

    I live in a neighborhood when is on the South end of a highly-populated (110K+) suburb. Our neighborhood is not within city limits due to it being located in an area that was fairly rural 30+ years ago (very populated now, with another 1,400 homes slated to be built in next 5 years within 2 sq miles of us). Our neighborhood sits on a hill (along with a few other neighborhoods) and overlooks a few square miles of farmland, zoned agricultural, which is immediately surrounded by the Arkansas River and is subject to periodic flooding. There is a flood dike which sits 100yds South of the last street in the addition. The farm land has primarily been used for wheat, soybeans, and sod farming. However, exceptions to the agricultural zoning were granted to 2 or 3 sand mining companies to dredge sand along the river banks to produce pad sand and sand for concrete redi-mix operations.

    The sand companies have been operating for about 10-15 years, and had an agreement on operating hours/sound levels/etc. when their exceptions were first granted. These are rural 2-lane blacktop roads not really designed for hundreds of sand-hauling dump trucks and tractor-trailers, but that's a lesser issue. They have not adhered to their original agreements and violate operating times and noise levels constantly. Think of it as living next to a construction site (back-up alarms, bright high-intensity flood lights, industrial equipment/engines) all day long into the evening, even on weekends. I don't hear the noise too terrible from where my house is, but I am not on the front lines so-to-speak. It is annoying, and the truck traffic is by-far the worst part for me.

    One of the sand companies has requested another exception to start an alternate mining site, 1/8-mile outside the neighborhood, despite having a history of violating their original operating agreement numerous times. I believe the problem has been that 1) their operating agreement is very vague, with no penalties for violations, and 2) no method of enforcement since we are not within city limits and rely on County Sheriffs (that don't have the staff) to enforce rules that aren't actually written anywhere other than the aforementioned agreement. Luckily, we had a decent showing of support at the Board of Adjustments meeting when given only a weeks' notice, and were able to get the Board to deny the exception request 3-1. However, the part where I'd want input from the gallery, is how to combat the request when they try again in 6-months or a year, with an adjusted plan.

    I will add that I am not anti-sand mining. They provide a valuable service which helps remove sand bars from the river which helps when flooding occurs. However, they reference themselves as having a "good neighbor" policy which has been mostly fluff.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Make sure the board members are fully aware of the history.

    Maybe suggest that any new adjustments include revisions to the existing ones that add teeth for violations, maybe even bring a motion to that effect for official approval.
     
  3. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    stop strips laid out during quiet hours.

    let them know you and every other neighbor will request a tax reduction every single damn day if the sand miners don't adhere to the good neighbor policy. Every. Single. Day. Squeaky wheels.
     
  4. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Build a runway where they want to start their new operations, then the residents will rally together to keep the evil airplanes from killing off the Revered Regal Sand Flea population with their TARMAC!!!
     
  5. Dana

    Dana En-Route

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    Move.
     
  6. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Lol, don't think the idea didn't cross my mind! However, the whole "subject to flooding" being a 1/2 mile away from the river probably deters anyone from wanting to base an aircraft there. While there are a number of coyote/deer/fox/eagle/barred owls in the area and river basin, I don't think any of them are residing on this parcel of land in particular, since it's an open field of soybeans at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  7. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Yes, well, ultimately there's always that. However, the current situation is manageable, it's the addition of further mining even closer to the neighborhood (and additional heavy truck traffic) that would drive property values into the cellar and make it difficult for many to move. These homes are well-established from the mid-1960's up to current new builds. Selling them and moving elsewhere is unlikely to be an option for many who moved into this area for affordability and a more quiet/country setting. Lots of retirees and people likely on a fixed income where moving really just isn't much of an option.
     
  8. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Floats. Root beer or EDO amphibious. Your pick. ;)
     
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  9. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Lol, vigilante justice! In all seriousness, the biggest problem is just collecting data on repeated violations of both operating hours and truck operators when it is coming from a few hundred sources in varying formats. It's one of those things where if every neighbor documented each time the encountered the company(s) operating outside contractual business hours, sound levels, truck traffic restrictions, etc. and entered them into an app for logging, it might easily show a pattern of malfeasance. Unfortunately that doesn't exist, and motivating several hundred people to document every infraction is difficult even if a convenient medium existed.
     
  10. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    You could set up a quick and dirty submission site that does that (or even do it in google docs) and let all the neighbors know about it. I could even help out with the site if you wanted. It would be very basic.
     
  11. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Yeah, that's how I figured data collection would have to be done in order to dump it into a database for tracking. Again, it's one of those things that becomes difficult because you are relying on people to stay active with logging data. I also wonder about legal enforcement options to their existing exception agreements or possibility of amendments to add penalties to violations. Kind of hard to put the cats back in the bag once they've been let out, though. In the end, I don't intend on being in this house for more than a few more years, but I'd rather not take a hit on property values when it comes time to sell because of a company/county board giving away exceptions to zoning like candy, despite overwhelming opposition to it.
     
  12. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Simple...squeaky wheels get the grease. They know a few motivated neighbors can derail the whole project in this day and age.

    Contact their PIO, ask if they want a campaign on how they are going to be good neighbors of if they want a campaign to oppose the whole thing. They need to come up with the solutions.
     
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  13. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like a job for... a camera. If the Sheriff doesn’t have time to do their job, ask them to install a camera. If the company knows they are being watched, they’ll quit with anything they aren’t supposed to be doing. Or they’ll double down and do more of it, and ask a judge to make y’all show in writing where they can’t.